Forrest Richardson

What is your current role? How long have you worked for Monument? 

I am a Plant Technician in the Pilot Plant at the Brandenburg, Kentucky site. I’ve been with the company since December 1972, so I recently celebrated my 45th anniversary! I actually started out as Quality Control Laboratory Technician when the company was owned by Olin Chemical – at the Niagara Falls, New York plant. I was there for 19 years and held positions of increasing responsibility, such as Laboratory Supervisor and Plant Training Manager. When the Niagara Falls site announced its upcoming closure, I was one of the lucky employees offered the chance to relocate to the Brandenburg, Kentucky facility in the Pilot Plant in 1992. It was a big change for my family, but since I spent another 25 great years of my career here, it was definitely worth seizing that opportunity!

What is your favorite part of what you do?

Because we are a specialty chemicals company, I see the Pilot Plant as the engine that helps drive our innovation – and I’m proud to be a part of that. I enjoy all of our daily challenges here, from small-scale projects in the laboratory to larger projects that involve getting us ready for mass production. The Pilot Plant has a recertification program that aims to cross-train all employees in various types of equipment, and I’ve been helping with the training for glass-lined equipment – since I have a lot of expertise there. I enjoy the training, because I know it plays an important role in boosting productivity, team effectiveness, and most importantly – safety awareness.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I currently coach basketball for kids of middle school age. I played basketball in my youth, and I coached my son (who is now 21 and 6’6”!) – and I enjoy keeping a hand in the sport and supporting the kids. It’s rewarding to help them learn new skills, and it’s even more rewarding to see them discover the importance of discipline and teamwork through the game. I also started riding a motorcycle again. Some of my co-workers share this passion, and we frequently plan trips together – most of which end up at a fantastic new restaurant. Between the thrilling freedom of a long motorcycle ride and a delicious meal, it’s a great way to spend the day.

What is the most surprising thing about you?

It’s likely NOT a surprise that I enjoy the people I work with – but it might be interesting to know that I also see the company itself as an “old friend.” Having been here for over 45 years, I’ve worked with a wide variety of good people – and there’s always change – but this company has been a constant in my life for a very long time. Because of that, I think of it as one of the biggest relationships in my life. That’s why I’m always eager to know how the company is doing, and what I can do to help it be better. Like any relationship, it goes both ways – and I’m grateful for every opportunity to make it stronger and to deliver another successful year!